Jayne started in the music field during her school days by taking all kind of dance lessons. She also studied piano, marimba, and violin.
During her high school years, Jayne played dual pianos with Barbara Leigh Abey for the whole Pennington Presbyterian Sunday School and later played for the Adult Bible Class. She danced solos at local dance recitals and performed on the marimba at churches, schools, hotels, and restaurants for local organizations.
She continued her education by attending Jordan College of Music at Butler University in Indianapolis, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree. In Indianapolis, she performed with the marimba on television, with the piano on the radio, and on Saturdays she taught marimba to private students.
Jayne returned to Hopewell Valley to marry Jay Clifford Stricker Neary where they had three boys: Jack, Jeff, and Jim. Unfortunately, one of the twins, Jim, only lived for a few months. This was a sad time in their lives.
Jayne and Jay joined forces and often performed together. She was on the marimba, and he told his funny stories and stand-up comedy. It was through this joint interest that they met in 1950 at the First Methodist Church in Trenton.
Jayne worked for the Hopewell Valley school district for 18 years in the Fine Arts department. She accompanied one elementary chorus and one junior high chorus on piano and substituted in the music classes. She eventually became the unofficial advisor to her fellow teachers.
Prior to her days at Hopewell Valley, she worked in Basking Ridge, Princeton Twp., and Lawrenceville, New Jersey. While in Lawrenceville, she directed the children’s choir at the Lawrenceville Presbyterian Church which started with three children and within three years, 40 children were part of the program.
At home, Jayne taught private lessons and became the first bell choir director at the Pennington Presbyterian Church. She also taught Sunday School to five- and six-year-old children and established a music program for them over a 25-year period.
For ten years, on Wednesday nights, she played organ for the Christian Science Church in Pennington.
Jayne was a member of the Trenton Contemporary Club, The Penelope Hart DAR of Pennington, and the Monday Morning Bowling League. She was also a tennis and bridge enthusiast.
In 1983, Jayne and her husband became active in the square dance world. They were members of Rovin’ Squares, a dancing and camping organization (NSDCA). They were presidents of their club and later became presidents of NSDCA for the state of Pennsylvania from 2002 to 2005. They became Pennsylvania State Representatives for NSDCA for 15 years and visited all eight Pennsylvania clubs.
Jayne and Jay traveled all over the United States in a motor home and for 15 years wintered in Texas. More recently, they have spent at least five years in Recreation Plantation in Lady Lake, Florida.
Jayne hopes you will remember her when you hear the sounds of a marimba or the voices of young children singing a church song.
Jayne is survived by her husband of 65 years, Jay C.S. Neary of Pennington; two sons and daughters-in-law, Jack and Erika Neary of Pennington and Jeffrey and Deborah Neary of Mansfield, MA and two grandchildren, Cameron Jay and Madeleine Jayne of Mansfield, MA.
Memorial service will be celebrated Friday March 18th at 2pm at Pennington Presbyterian Church, 13 S Main St, Pennington, NJ.